DYNAMICS 365 BRINGS UPDATES THIS SPRING

Back in the Microsoft Inspire 2017, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella repeatedly mentioned about digital transformation of business through the use of Dynamics 365. More than one year since its launch, it has been living up its promise of digital transformation in different industries by launching updates that trim down processes via sourcing out third platforms to execute marketing strategies (ex. sending out newsletters and posting various content).

Microsoft has released an electronic journal titled “Dynamics 365: Spring ’18 Release Notes The Next Step in Your Digital Transformation”, containing the details of the multitude of updates of the external and internal tools that they have added.

Slated to be out on the spring of 2018, Microsoft will launch another big update for Dynamics 365 involving its marketing and sale respective automation tools.

Microsoft always sticks to the concept of a customer’s journey in illustrating the suggested marketing tactics to be employed. So, to respond to the structure of the customer’s journey, according to Microsoft they have appended in this marketing automation tool:  page designer and in-browser for content creation; portals and webinars for event management; lead management, and analytics for marketing insights.

The marketing automation tool of Dynamics 365 carries different marketing tactics that have been proven effective and stood the test of time. But this time, it was designed to carry copious masses of e-mail, easier creation of form and conducting surveys, tracking leads, measuring analytics, and time-saver and ready-made templates for campaigns.

The sales professional automation tool embeds both Office 365 and LinkedIn Sales navigator to monitor the relationships that have been created, as well as, follow through with the customers that you have recently connected with. Compared to Dynamics 365 for Sales Enterprise, Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional is a more affordable package made for small to medium businesses.

Still priced at $40.00, Dynamics 365 is both a customer relationship management tool and enterprise resource planning tool.

MICROSOFT DYNAMICS 365 FOR MARKETING SPEEDS UP BUSINESS STRATEGIES

Small to medium businesses are encouraged to undergo a digital transformation through the usage of Dynamics 365 for Marketing and other Microsoft productivity applications. Dynamics 365 for Marketing is now available for public preview. It enables the users to test the available features of the updated version. Before having access to the public preview, the user must type in his work email and phone number.

For marketing, return of investment is the fruit of labor of all the strategies and efforts that have been executed. More than just a customer relationship management tool, Dynamics 365 has branched out with its different capabilities to aid the user in expanding their strategy throughout the customer’s journey. It presents ways on how small to medium sized businesses can grow their marketing successfully.

Marketing decisions can now be easily translated to automated processes. With Dynamics 365 for Marketing, records and progress can be tracked with the values allotted for each step completed. The workflows are streamlined and the clear-cut process can be easily translated into values by the sales team

Service Update 4 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 9.0.1 and Service Update 3 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 9.0.1 are also available for this month (March, 2018).  Service Update 4 seeks to resolve common issues like the opportunity actual close date, the inability of quote revision for team-owned records, and on-redirecting of links in the proper landing record.  Service Update 3 seeks to resolve non-display of knowledge articles and instances of blank display on mobile.

According to Microsoft, Dynamics 365 for Marketing is prepared to set the bar for delivering value for the following: multi-channel campaigns, lead management, sales and marketing alignment, and marketing analytics.

“Turn prospects into business relationships,” – this is how Microsoft encapsulates the function of Dynamics 365 for Marketing.

 

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE IN THE CLOUD TAKES A STEP FORWARD

Microsoft is working on more improvements for their set of cloud-based applications.

Office 365 has innovative business apps to answer the needs of small and medium businesses. These business apps are Microsoft Connections, Outlook Customer Manager, Microsoft Listings, Microsoft Bookings, Microsoft Invoicing, and MileIQ. In a recent speaking engagement, the progress and potential of Microsoft’s productivity platform in the cloud, Office 365 was announced by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Satya Nadella.

Nadella also cited Power BI, its business intelligence in the cloud that delivers promising results to its consumers with its highly defined charts and data analysis tools.

Despite the stiff competition in the market of cloud platform and servers, Microsoft stands by their staple offerings: Office 365, Microsoft 365, and Power BI.

Being conscious of the needs of its consumers, Microsoft embeds extra security features for Microsoft 365 and Azure Information Protection for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. It also supplies information about GDPR so that their consumers can grasp the effects of the said regulation. These features can be utilized even more since consumers can monitor their own consumption.

Microsoft is continually becoming more receptive to its consumers as they combine the values of key business devices with an integrated solution like the Microsoft 365 bundle.

Aside from the regular updates, there has been additional offerings in Microsoft Teams, the chat-based work collaboration tool in Office 365, as well as, an inclusion of an editor feature in Microsoft Word.

Microsoft shows no sign of complacency as they continue to keep up with the times and offer even more benefits to their customers.

MICROSOFT 365 BUSINESS OFFERS 3 MORE SIGNIFICANT FEATURES

Microsoft 365 gets better once again. Microsoft 365 Business is an integrated full-packaged solution comprised of Office 365, Windows 10, and EMS. It is built for small to medium-sized businesses that have 300 or less users.

From its initial launch during the last Ignite 2017, it has been adding more features to answer the needs of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and was made available to the public November 1, 2017

Three new key features are now available. SMBs who are still on their way to permeate the market need the tools because they would simplify their processes at a lower cost.

Listing can strengthen a brand’s presence online through various online search sources like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Bing.  The basic details about the company like their address, contact number, and e-mail, as well as their services are essential to gain a potential lead. However, you don’t need to manually edit every listing on those sites mentioned because by encoding the changes through Microsoft 365 Business, every listing will be synchronized. Also, you can monitor the views through the Listing Dashboard

Through Microsoft 365 Business’s convenient invoice feature, you can monitor bills, outstanding balances, incoming payments; issue receipts to clients; and offer discounts. It also has a mobile application that  makes it easier for you to check your cash flow in real-time.  In addition, invoicing has a tax calculator that can be adjusted to the state where you are located.

Their connections feature also serves as an e-mail service and dispatcher where you can customize your template, drag photos and text, format the appearance, and add a call-to-action.  Launching an e-mail campaign, and measuring metrics can both be done here as you gain more leads from your recipient list. Also, the e-mail list will be updated so you can keep track of those who opened the e-mail.

At $20.00 per user per month, you can make the most of your business through Microsoft 365 Business’ newest features.

DYNAMICS TENERIFE STANDS OUT IN DIRECTIONS NA 2017

Dynamics Tenerife was officially announced by Microsoft General Manager Marko Perisic during the Directions North America 2017.  Directions North America 2017 is a conference for Microsoft Dynamics users who are small-to-medium business Microsoft partners. The latest integration to business models, news, methods, and updates about Dynamics are announced and revealed here.

This year, the combination of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Business and Dynamics NAV is codenamed “Tenerife”. This version of Dynamics is targeted for the financial matters of a business since it is an Economic Resource Planning Solution. It has been dubbed as the next generation NAV. Dynamics Tenerife contains the AccountantHub where the accounting process can be done. This combination is aimed to become a complete single solution for cloud and on-premises software. The capabilities and functionalities of both versions will be entwined into one.

Microsoft Graph is where you can view and use Dynamics 365 Tenerife. Preview of its sandbox can be accessed.

The reconstruction of Dynamics signals the innovation that may continue to happen in the future.  Tenerife is a promising tool to fix the problem of its independent parts. Its value continues to flourish with more features and simplification.   

 

MICROSOFT IGNITES MICROSOFT 365 AND AZURE

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella launched good news about the development of their products during Microsoft Ignite, a conference attended by IT professionals and other IT businessmen, on September 25-29, 2017, at Orlando, Florida, USA.

Nadella reiterated the importance of the “three timeless values: empower people, inclusive design, and build trust in technology” that are the foundation of these intelligent business solutions.

Microsoft 365 comes in new bundles namely, Education and F1. F1 is branded as the Microsoft 365 for frontline workers, those who are directly speaking to the customers. They are the sales team and the customer representatives. A sense of community is the goal for Microsoft 365 F1 since the heart of sales is the connection with the customers.   In F1, Microsoft StaffHub is more empowered because it is designed for employees to manage their work, time management, schedules, communication with colleagues, and where swapping shifts is made easy.  The embedded security with support feature of Microsoft 365 is FastTrack. Strengthening the customer’s assurance of protection has been solidified once more through this solution.

In Microsoft Ignite, they have reassured the audience that the focus of improvements in Azure is the need of the customers. The point-to-point solutions of Azure such as Azure Stack where another application can be built and installed.  Azure Reserved Instances(RI) are regraded to have its bestselling value with huge Volume Machine capacity.

Microsoft 365 and Azure are continuously innovating to bring more value to the customers with less cost but bigger value in terms of continual upgrades.

 

 

LATEST INCLUSIONS AND TIE-UP FOR MICROSOFT DYNAMICS CRM TO ENHANCE MORE CONNECTIONS

According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, “It’s not about acquiring more business applications but connecting these business processes, and creating systems of action. Systems of intelligence {of Dynamics 365] are Sales Operations, People Operations (HR), Customer Support, and Field Operations.”

Microsoft Dynamics 365‘s upcoming updates are not only for improved viewing and user experiences but also created a breakthrough for sales, as well.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM continues to improve by addressing the needs of its customers. Additional features will be integrated to the Enterprise and Business editions of Dynamics 365. Theme and system customizations can now be applied with colors that can be assigned to the objects in the form. Features are bound to be more user-friendly since the unified interface will enable the user to see as many sections as possible in a single glance. One page with one view can be accessed through the Advanced Settings page. Readability will be improved with the inclusion of text wraps that will allow the viewer to see the full data that has been filled in.  The activity feed will also be updated so that the service team will be able to have the same view as the sales team.

Microsoft partnered with Dun & Bradstreet, a business data network company, in order to yield more leads through in-depth analyses and rich databases. This is destined to become a big step to gain and trace leads from D&B’s database of company information that includes over two hundred million businesses all over the world. This is highly beneficial for small to medium businesses that are users of Dynamics 365 because they are just starting to maximize their reach while exploring new possible clients.

With Dynamics 365’s ability to synchronize and organize data while turning everything into multifunctional use, data building and accessing information on leads will be a game changer for sales by speeding up the process for lead generation.

 

 

Microsoft Applications Assure Hardcore Defense Against Ransomware

Two consecutive attacks of ransomwares on devices with Windows operating system, in both May, 2017 and June, 2017 have been alarming the world, and causing debates on cybersecurity. The first attack was by “WannaCry”, a variant of ransomware that caused a major stir by disrupting businesses in over 150 countries across the globe. It was then followed by “Petya”, which was described as a stronger ransomware. It interrupted businesses in the Ukraine, Russia, USA, and other parts of the globe as well. Some companies have paid the ransom in exchange for their essential documents and highly confidential data. Unfortunately, companies with online storage and devices are susceptible to ransomwares as they are more capable of paying the demanded worth of bitcoins as ransom. Securing devices against a highly probable third consecutive attack must be given the utmost priority.

Office 365 – Quarantine and Advanced Threat Protection

Microsoft has been consistently optimizing its security features and updating its cybersecurity applications. Even before the onset of these cyber-attacks, Microsoft had been regularly vigilante in equipping their programs with built-in anti-virus features such as Office 365’s Quarantine and
Advanced Threat Protection.

Office 365’s Advanced Threat Protection (ATP),

Office 365’s ATP continuously checks attachments, email inboxes, and links to avoid the penetration of malwares. Safe Links, Safe Attachments, URL Detonation, and Dynamic Delivery are the different parts of ATP that make protecting your data easy.

Office 365’s Quarantine feature automatically sends suspicious emails to the quarantine folder so that they will not be mixed with the safe contents of the user’s inbox. The administrator of the organization can then control the emails that will be sent directly into the quarantine section. The contents of the quarantine section get automatically deleted after fifteen (15) days. Emails that have been suspected to be malicious but turn out to be safe can be pulled out from that section and safely opened and read.

Prevention Applications
Microsoft has built its operating system with an antivirus application called “Windows Defender Tool”. Other prevention applications of Microsoft that were devised to guard your data against malwares and even ransomwares are “Smart Screen” and “Malware Protection Program”. Smart Screen is a Windows filtering tool used to block suspicious websites. On the other hand, Malware Protection Program educates the user on how to understand the prevention tools being offered, and how the threat can be removed.

Keeping your version of Microsoft windows updated is one of the surefire ways to maintain the security and protection of your corporate data being stored in your cloud system.

How SQL Server 2014 can help your business perform better

Medical practitioners follow stringent protocols to prevent and manage infections that can spread from one patient to another in a healthcare setting. To aid in the control of these infections, Ocean Informatics offers healthcare facilities a unique software solution that stores, processes, and reports on infection-related data. With SQL Server 2014, Ocean Informatics can cut response time and directly facilitate faster patient care, a critical step in advancing public health and protecting the population.

Business Needs:

Superbugs like MRSA and VRE, significant organisms like norovirus and influenza, and notifiable diseases such as measles all pose a risk in the healthcare setting. Hospitals and public health organizations must document and practice a disciplined healthcare delivery system to prevent, monitor, investigate, and manage potential in-facility outbreaks of these kinds of infections. Standard precautions and meticulous surveillance of infection-related events play an essential role in mitigating risk to patients and staff.

To enhance surveillance of healthcare-associated infections, independent software vendor Ocean Informatics developed Multiprac IC, a sophisticated software solution capable of computing and regularly reporting hundreds of standard notifications related to infection-control protocols. Healthcare practitioners use Multiprac IC for the continuous, automated monitoring of blood stream infections, significant organisms, surgical- site infections, outbreak detection and management, and contacts tracing, a process for cataloging patients who come into contact with infection. With this tool, infection-control practitioners can identify adverse trends, implement improvement initiatives, and assess effectiveness of interventions.

Queensland Health of Australia, which operates and administers the state’s public health system, is the largest customer of Ocean Informatics. It uses Multiprac IC and its underlying clinical data repository to process more than 30,000 microbiology and serology pathology results per day (3.5–5 million annually), create 750,000 infection Electronic Health Records (EHRs) per year, and track 1.3 million names of patients who enter the hospital for contact tracing.

Transaction-Heavy Processing

The pathology analysis alerts the infection-control practitioners so they can undertake surveillance, deliver appropriate patient care and prevent infections. To do so, the solution must handle intensive business logic processing in the database server, running a number of specific operations against patient data to identify potential risks and create notifications that set off complex processes and work flows. For each of these notifications, the program also reads the patient administration system to locate each patient in the hospital.

“The system generates hundreds of important reports about infections. Because we collect so much data to display on the notification screen, we found that we needed to store and process more transactions than we anticipated. It’s a big system and a lot of processing,” says Joe Griffiths, Engagement Manager for Ocean Informatics.

Sluggish Response Times

When medical staff pull up a dashboard on a computer or hand-held device, they regularly see more than 300 notifications, each of which initiates a round of schedules and examinations. As infection-control practitioners began to increase their use of the system, requirements of the database surged, and those who depend on these reports and notifications began to experience slow performance in the dashboard reporting—sluggishness that then slowed patient-care delivery.

In infection control, a degradation in performance of data retrieval and querying carries with it costly implications—implications that might, quite literally, risk a person’s life. A delay in isolating a patient with a significant infection, such as MRSA or VRE, for example, can increase the chance of cross infection, delay the identification of an outbreak, and lead to a lag in facility-wide contact tracing, an important part of controlling infection in the wider population.

Solution

To address what was becoming untenable response times, Ocean Informatics engaged Scalability Experts, a Microsoft partner with a gold competency in data platform, to assess the impact of moving to Microsoft SQL Server 2014 software. By conducting a series of tests in the cloud, Scalability Experts conclusively showed the effect In-Memory OLTP functionality and the new database’s ability to find optimized search paths would have on the end user.

Ocean Informatics was preparing to allocate two months of a full-time employee’s time, plus the effort needed to handle support calls to improve its product. Instead, Scalability Experts worked quickly to upgrade the database to SQL Server 2014, benchmark its performance, and configure the new system for optimal use of memory with minimal disruption to the day-to-day operations of Ocean Informatics or Queensland Health.

“We were going to have to spend a lot of money on projects and coding to improve end-user response time. Just by upgrading the infrastructure to SQL 2014, we solved the problem,” says Griffiths. “The upgrade to SQL Server 2014 let us focus our resources on end-user clinical capability rather than infrastructure. This will improve customer workflows that increase responsiveness to infections.”

Benefits

The Ocean Informatics upgrade to SQL Server 2014 brought dramatic increases in efficiency and effectiveness to the daily work of infection-control clinical surveillance at Queensland Health and its 57 healthcare facilities launching the solution.

“All the extra intelligence with SQL Server 2014 does what we need in a much more efficient way. So without changing our code, we began to see improvements,” says Griffiths. “We’re talking significant end-user response time improvements.”

Faster Patient Care

The fact that the SQL Server 2014 In-Memory OLTP engine finds data from memory instead of searching caches or disks translates to a fivefold increase in the read time of data transfers from peripheral devices to hospital computers. Customers also see significantly reduced response times: a report that once took 17 seconds now takes only 4 seconds. Faster querying decreases the time for the application webpages to load and for the reports to run, meaning infection-control practitioners can surveil and act at a pace that meets crucial medical and administrative protocols.

“When the system is slow, infection control practitioners cannot be as reactive to important notifications. When a notification comes up in as fast as, say, four seconds, they become more interactive with the system and therefore more responsive to infections and more able to protect other patients,” says Griffiths. “They have a whole new set of efficiencies around infection management.”

Better Business Health

Upgrading to SQL Server 2014 brings not only technological advances to Ocean Informatics but also business advantages. “Our brand reputation for performance is critical,” says Griffiths. “Our customers are waiting eagerly for our new staff health module, and now we can apply our very special skillset to completing the next round of developments on that.”

The server upgrade for Ocean Informatics is concurrent with its move to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, a move that saves it and its customers significant investment in infrastructure. “Being on Azure means we can configure hybrid solutions working with data on the customer’s premises or in the cloud, which offers huge flexibility especially for training, Disaster Recovery, and testing environments.” says Griffiths.

To build on its improved database management system and cloud capabilities, Ocean Informatics is now preparing to offer its customers self-service business intelligence reporting with Microsoft Power BI. “Analytics will be another powerful tool for investigation, a way to detect trends in infection control in order to gradually reduce overall rates and help the customers become self-sufficient in their reporting.”

Microsoft Drops New Windows 10 Build Bringing Skype Integration, Edge Improvements

Windows 10 Build

 

Microsoft detailed a number of statistics relating to the performance of apps on its Windows 10 platform, alongside a new build of the operating system for its testing community.

According to Microsoft, more than half of visits to the Windows Store now come from Windows 10 users. Given the relative youth and market share scale of Windows 10 compared to Windows 8.x, it’s an encouraging statistic.

Microsoft also stated that Windows 10 generates twice the engagement and four times the revenue on a per user basis compared to its predecessor. Like Amazon, Microsoft is not releasing precise statistics, but, instead, comparative metrics that appear encouraging; we can compare this to Amazon’s past announcements about how its new Kindle is the best-selling yet and so forth.

Still, even carefully selected positive data can be useful. The above is predicated on the recently released figure that there are 110 million devices running Windows 10 today, which is 11 percent of where Microsoft expects to be in a year or two.

More engagement and more revenue implies happier developers. Or at least more piqued developers, I’d wager.

Build 10565

Also out is a new build of Windows 10 — build 10565 — which is out now for those in the company’s testing community who have signed up to receive new code as quickly as possible.

The latest build includes improvements to Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, to help the service understand notes that were handwritten on a screen. Ink, in other words. Given Microsoft’s focus on pen-based input, the addition is sensible.

In Edge, Microsoft’s new browser that will eventually fully supplant Internet Explorer, a new tab preview option lets users hover over a browser tab to see a quick preview of its content. Yes, this echoes past work the company has done on the Start Bar.

Finally, among the most interesting additions is the integration of Skype’s various communications capabilities into Windows 10 itself; Skype proper isn’t going anywhere, but Microsoft wants to take its tools and bake them into the operating system itself. (The shiver up the back of your neck is the specter of antitrust past, naturally.)

The Skype integration was previously promised, and Microsoft promised similar functionality for the mobile-edition of Windows 10 as well.

Microsoft has had a decent few weeks. Its hardware event went well, Windows 10 has failed to flop, and the company’s update cadence has so far, at least, beaten my expectations.